Ministers and Leaders Acknowledge Importance of Cooperation on Aboriginal Affairs
"The Aboriginal Affairs Working Group is taking action on issues that are critical to improving conditions for Aboriginal peoples across Canada. Together, we are working to address the challenges facing Aboriginal peoples today in areas like education, economic development and ending violence against Aboriginal women and girls. Our goal is to create positive change for First Nation, Inuit and Métis peoples and help close the socio-economic gap that exists between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in this country."
On behalf of all Provinces/Territories: Ontario Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Chris Bentley - AAWG Chair
"The collaborative approach of the Aboriginal Affairs Working Group has been important in encouraging the setting of targets, goals and specific activities, particularly in relation to improving First Nation education. It is critical that each province and territory now continue to show leadership by engaging directly with First Nation leaders and communities as partners in their respective jurisdictions. In this way, we can all work together to measure progress and achieve tangible improvements and results for First Nation students and communities right across the country."
Assembly of First Nations, National Chief Shawn A-in-chut Atleo
The Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) is pleased with the progress of the Aboriginal Affairs Working Group in pursuing the goals of increasing graduation rates for Aboriginal students, supporting economic development in our communities and ending violence against Aboriginal women and girls. By working collaboratively, provincial and territorial governments and national Aboriginal organizations are demonstrating that the political will exists to improve the quality of life for all Aboriginal peoples; however, CAP's affiliate organizations will need to be included in future work on these important initiatives."
Congress of Aboriginal Peoples, National Chief Betty Ann Lavallée
"Far too often, the Métis Nation finds itself as an after-thought when it comes to addressing the three key issues highlighted by this working group. Métis have the fastest growing youth population in Western Canada. They are the leaders of tomorrow but we need to provide every means possible to make sure they are ready to take up the challenges. I am extremely pleased to see that the Métis Nation has been invited to be involved in this process because as taxpayers and rights-bearing citizens of this country, we must be included in all Canadian opportunities. The Métis Nation has a lot to contribute given the opportunity."
Métis National Council, Vice President David Chartrand
"On behalf of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami I am pleased to be here to represent Inuit. Working together with the provinces and territories is important in our goal of improving education outcomes for our children and youth. Children and youth also have to be physically, mentally and emotionally able to contribute to society, and to do this they have to be free of violence and abuse in their homes and communities. We also call on the government of Canada to come on board and be our partners in this initiative."
Pauktuutit Inuit Women's Association, President Elisapee Sheutiapik
"The past meetings of this working group have provided not only the opportunity to hear the concerns of the National Aboriginal Organizations and the initiatives of the Provinces and Territories but more importantly, to work together and to agree to move forward on key issues such as education, economic development, and stopping violence against Aboriginal women with solutions that are inclusive of women, men, families and communities. As we continue on this path, it is our hope that the Government of Canada will also agree to join us in this important and positive endeavour and that our Aboriginal peoples, and more specifically our Aboriginal women, can see a future where our children, grandchildren, and generations to come, can participate fully in a Canada where equality, opportunity and respect for human rights continues. We remain hopeful that our vision of safe, healthy, economically viable, and environmentally supportive communities for all people in Canada will be achieved."
Native Women's Association of Canada, President Jeannette Corbiere Lavell